Camel Press, Oct 1 2012, $15.95
Baseball reporter Cat McDaniel lost her first Big Leagues’ position when she exposed deadly wrong doings at the Las Vegas Chips. Though she did the right thing, Cat has become persona non grata in the sport she loves. Thus when Buffalo Soldiers’ General Manager Roger “Rakin'” Aiken invites her to town for a job interview, Cat is ecstatic. Aiken says the team reporter position is hers in the spring if she covers the team’s winter Latin American training facility in Santo Domingo. Cat accepts the terms, but is aghast when Aiken tells her his spoiled daughter Paige, expelled from Fillmore University, will be with her working as a scout assistant to Joe O’Donnell. Besides baby sitting out of control Paige, the only drawback to shuffling off to Buffalo is her boyfriend Benji teaches in Vegas.
The pair meets Worldwide Baseball Talent Management agent Chance Hayward, who charms Paige and disgusts Cat. When the three find the corpse of a prospect on the beach followed by a woman screaming at Chance for a death of a loved one, Cat investigates Worldwide Baseball Talent Management agency with help from Paige’s ex, coach Junior DeLeon as she learns how the unscrupulous take advantage of the local young talent; unaware that her inquiry could be strike three for her.
The latest Cat McDaniel baseball mystery is an engaging amateur sleuth that is at its best with the insider look at the importance of baseball in the Dominican Republic. Paige is a foolish individual who will either step up to the plate or be benched permanently while Cat feels annoyed by her antics. Readers will enjoy Curveball as Cat deals with a splitter spitter bean-ball.